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Holiday Stress Solutions

Author: Marc Gravelle, C.Ht., HMI Instructor

Marc Gravelle

Date Published:
Publisher: Hypnosis Motivation Institute

Sometimes the best solutions are the simplest solutions.

Many people find the period from Thanksgiving through the New Year a very stressful time, even though we’re taught that it is supposed to be a time of joy and celebration. During this time we often are confronted with numerous conflicts and inflated, or unrealistic expectations.

According to a poll conducted by, more than 80% of respondents reported finding the holiday season to be “somewhat” or “very” stressful.

The Problems

Some of the more common problems we face during the holidays are:

  • Increases in traffic and more traffic delays.
  • Over committing to too many parties, social gatherings and family time.
  • Over spending on gifts.
  • Increased consumption of rich desserts and/or alcohol.
  • Over committing to sending cards with notes and baking goodies for gifts.

Solution: The Anchor

The term anchor refers to a simple technique, method, or tool, to interrupt and replace any feeling of building anxiety or stress.

Anchor Technique: Simple to Create

  1. Inhale deeply, holding it for a brief moment (about 3 seconds).
  2. As you slowly exhale, say, or think, the word CALM.
  3. Inhale deeply again and hold (about 3 seconds).
  4. As you slowly exhale say, or think, the word RELAXED.
  5. Inhale deeply, again and hold (about 3 seconds).
  6. As you exhale slowly, say or think the words IN CONTROL.

Do it right now and experience the effect. Feel more relaxed? This one simple technique takes less than 30 seconds. Depending on the situation, or the level of stress, you could do the anchor two or three times successively (which takes less than two minutes).

This one simple technique applies to any stressful situation we encounter and improves our coping skills. This one method can assist us in handling all the various stressors of the holiday season. Another option is to use, or substitute your own words that you associate more with relaxation.

Additional Holiday Solutions

  • Plan longer time cushions both to leave for, and arrive to functions in a punctual manner.
  • Take a few minutes to write out what you can realistically accomplish during this busy time. Writing lists can assist in prioritizing what’s important and what’s not so important.
  • Make a budget for gift giving that fits your own budget to avoid unnecessary credit card balance buildup.
  • Practice assertive communication to be able to say no diplomatically and enforce your boundaries of contact or involvement.

The tool of using the anchor is even more effective when guided in the state of hypnosis. It’s more effective because the level, or depth of relaxation is more profound in a clinical setting like a hypnotherapy session.

Many clients have asked how often they need to do the anchor process and I recommend starting with 20-50 times/day. Especially during trying times.